SIA Day Three - Rediscovering the essence

Saturday was day three of the SIA snowsports tradeshow. After taking in the free funk served up by Del on Friday, we weren't in a huge rush to get to the convention center. It was a good bet that day three was going to be a low key affair (relatively speaking). The plan was to meet up with some friends from Sierra Snowboard, then take it from there.

Princess Brian
Brian, one of the Sierra crew, trying out a fancy helmet cover. I'm still not sure if whether we can thank skiing or snowboarding for this gem.

Not long after we entered the convention center, we noticed that Klaus Obermeyer was in attendance. Being the legend of the ski industry that he is, we thought it might be interesting to go over and ask him what he thought about snowboarding. To my surprise, he's actually super keen on it. He said that snowboarding has brought so much to skiing, especially in the way that skis are now shaped. We thanked Klaus and bade him farewell, but not before he treated us to a brief yodel. We then proceeded into the convention center to see whatever we could before meeting up with the Sierra crew.

Things were a bit slow on day three. I suspect much of the business is taken care of on days one and three. Before long, it was lunch time and Dana and I went to the food court to meet up with Jenn, Phil, Doug, Brian, and Steve (the Sierra contingent at the tradeshow). While shooting the breeze, a plan was hatched for some of us to ditch the tradeshow on day four and head up to Keystone for the day to shred. This suited me just fine since I had already seen most everything I had gone to Denver to see and relished the opportunity to work on my goggle tan.

Speaking of snowboards
A couple of the boards on offer by Jones Snowboards for 2010/11. No sign of Jeremy's split board unfortunately.

Before calling it a day, however, we decided to tour around the convention center to see what other shenanigans we could get into. In the process, I heard the funniest and most maddening stories of the entire week; both within minutes of each other. The most maddening story was that someone had apparently walked away with Jeremy Jones' split board which was on display in the Jones Snowboards booth. This made me want to karate chop the thief in his face. Unfortunately I have no idea what the thief looks like so I had to rely on Karma. Hopefully someone recovered Jeremy's kit, split boards aren't cheap.

The funniest story of the tradeshow actually happened on day two, even though I didn't hear it until day three. Nidecker's line of snowboards for 2010/11 includes an exclusive Pamela Anderson snowboard. On Friday night, the Baywatch babe herself showed up at the convention to promote her exclusive stick. However, a batch of “pot cookies” also showed up at the party. Unknowingly, one of the reps took two large bites of one which caused him to start thinking deep thoughts about his life, his place in the world, and why they were doing this to Pam. It didn't take long before he decided that all these deep thoughts were too much and went to the hotel to sleep off the THC.

After the convention center closed for the day, we went to the Spot to have dinner with the fine folks from Flow Snowboards. Apparently this place was featured in an episode of South Park, a fact that Brian and Steve used to sell us on the idea (it wasn't that difficult really), qualifying it by saying that the food wasn't great but the atmosphere was. Contrary to conventional wisdom, this is actually a good way to sell a restaurant. For example, there's a diner not far from my house in Ottawa that advertises “bad food and warm beer.” You would expect that this would cause people to stay away, yet it's surprising just how many people stop by just to see how bad the food is or how warm the beer is.

After dinner we went to Brian's place in Westminster – a northwest suburb of Denver -- to do some couch surfing in preparation for the trip up to Keystone on Sunday. I was kinda happy to be leaving the commercial atmosphere of the tradeshow behind for some actual snowboarding. Although these commercial events are necessary for snowboarding to survive and continue growing, they somewhat detract from its essence: it's all about the fun and I was looking forward to rediscovering that essence in Keystone.

Winter Matters Bubble

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